Autarco launches made-in-Europe microinverter

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Dutch solar systems provider Autarco has announced this week the launch of its first microinverter to augment the firm’s single-branded solar energy systems portfolio.

The XSX microinverter has been announced as a made-in-Europe inverter, and will be manufactured in Slovakia using a large proportion of Europe-sourced components to exclusively serve the European market, Autarco PR & communication manager Anne van den Berg told pv magazine.

"The bill of materials consists not only of EU-made chips and components," van den Berg said. "Some are from Taiwan and Japan."

Autarco says that the microinverter’s cradle-to-cradle design ensures longer durability and easier inspection and testing. The Dutch company eschewed the traditional ‘potting’ approach – whereby microinverters are enclosed with an encapsulating compound that fills the internal componentry to guard against external weather damage – and instead uses a PCB coated with a layer of transparent conformal coating.

"The most important reason for using coating rather than potting is because we follow a ‘design for disassembly’ technique," explained van den Berg. "Potted designs suffer from thermal expansion related issues and can degrade in extreme weather conditions. Our coating doesn’t. It is more durable."

Another feature trumpeted by Autarco is the XSX microinverter’s wireless Z-Wave functionality, which the company claims is more reliable than WiFi and integrates easily with the Autarco Smart Home platform, which is the basis of its single-branded solar energy systems approach.

The company confirmed to pv magazine that the microinverter will retail for €130.90, sold in bulk to distributors, and will be sold via a partnership with Wienerberger, which produces solar panels for the residential markets of Europe.